Letter: Gorsuch Haus is a great project
I’ve been reading a few of the other letters submitted regarding the Gorsuch Haus project. I thought it time that I speak up for our community and the positives of the project. I’ve lived in Aspen for over 55 years, raised my kids here, owned businesses here and have lived trying to make a positive difference with friends, family and community.
First, the two gentlemen working on the project (Jeff and Bryan) are locals who have given much back to the community. They are men of integrity. They have the spirit of Aspen and its heritage in their hearts. They’ve chosen to be developers on this project because they want to do something great for the community, for us, for skiing, ski-racing heritage and our future for all seasons.
We’ve lost so many hotel rooms and bed base in Aspen over the past 30 years, it’s hard to imagine people thinking this isn’t a great project. They’ve spent five years working on this, analyzing site plans, lift locations, what works, what doesn’t, working with Aspen Skiing Co. and factoring in the needs of a multitude of different groups, neighbors, skiers and things that we (and they) care about.
It’s time to look forward and stop looking in the rearview mirror. We need hotel rooms, amenities, updated facilities and connectivity at Lift 1A. Given it’s the only other base area on Aspen Mountain, and the place where the first runs were cut, it deserves to be vibrant. I know the land isn’t conservation as it relates to “real” conservation land. That was a holding district, and the city agreed on simply paying low taxes until Skico was to someday figure out what plans it may want for the land, just like part of the land at The Little Nell hotel was when it was entitled in the ’80s. The hotel is no bigger than four single-family homes on Red Mountain, to put it in perspective. Yep, four single-family homes!
The previous plans proposed for the property during and after the COOP process took up much more land on the site, moved the lift up the hill significantly and was a private residence club.
Now that the two huge projects on both sides of the street going to and up past the current lift are gone, we’re left with 14 townhomes on one side and another fractional project on the other side.
It’s time we move forward and support a good project for the community that hits all of our hot buttons — or about 90 percent of them. No other developer in my years has designed a project with so much community involvement and openness. For any naysayers, I’m happy to sit and have a coffee with you. There is a ton of community support for this project because it is the project we’ve wanted. Let’s not repeat our past mistakes!
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